Saturday, June 30, 2007

Weekend Haikus

A break from much rain

To mow my St. Augustine

Grass growing crazy


Dadstock is today

A party for at-home dads

But I can't make it


My son turning four

He sure is growing up fast

As fast as my grass

Friday, June 29, 2007

Megan Mooney & Eddie Gossling Interviews

Megan Mooney & Eddie Gossling are very funny comedians with their own Comedy Central shows. They are also married and now have a new baby. We just did a couple of 20 Questions interviews with them over at if you are interested in checking it out.

Quirkee logo


Thursday, June 28, 2007

Rainy Days and Wild Ways

The rain just keeps on coming here in Central Texas. The plants, grass, and wildflowers sure do love it. We planted some wildflower seeds this year to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Some we planted out front in that little strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street. Some we planted in pots in the backyard. The ones in pots didn't take off like the ones in the ground and I think a bird nibbled up some seeds from the pots then sat on our fence and pooped. This sunflower facing West has grown to about seven feet tall and looks like it might soon decide to walk on over to the back door and help itself to our refrigerator. When the clouds cleared today I went out and snapped this photo.

Four Years Ago

This Sunday, July 1st, is the day four years ago when my life completely changed. No, not the day I got out of rehab or jail. It was the day my son was born. All of the sudden it was no more late nights out with our friends closing down bars after work. No more midnight runs to the nearby bowling alley to squeeze in a few games and a few bowling pin shaped beers. From that day on it was diaper, feed, burp, change diaper, feed more, burp, change diaper, sleep for a few hours, then start all over with a clean shirt on.

We quickly got the routine down and the few hours of sleep every night were enough for us to stay alive. The bags under my eyes were eventually replaced with extra laugh lines. The hair on my head is a different story. Not long after our son was born my first gray hair appeared on my goatee. I plucked it. Then one appeared on the side of my head so I plucked that sucker, too. They say if you pluck them more just appear. That's OK by me because at the rate my brown hairs are vanishing I would much rather have more gray hairs than no hairs at all. I already keep a nice short cut and I estimate that in about five years I'll just shave it bald - but only if I can find out how to reconfigure my wine cork shaped head by then.

Please go to to finish reading. Click

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

That is Just Plane Crazy

With as busy as our lives get we don't travel as often anymore. Vacations are few and far between and when we do travel it is usually by car to visit family. Since the birth of our first child four years ago we have traveled by flying only once when we went to Las Vegas for a family wedding. It was the first time our boy, who was about 18 months old, had been on a plane and like most parents we were a little nervous.

Worried thoughts ran through our heads like, "What if the plane crashes and our whole family dies because we wanted to fly out for a wedding? Should we have left one of us behind so he didn't have to go? Should we have taken separate planes? Who rides with the boy? Are we going to have to buy him a seat or can he sit in our laps? Do you think he will be scared? Maybe he'll just fall asleep. Should we give him some Benadryl? I think his allergies are acting up."

Everything turned out fine and he loved the plane ride. He slept some on the way to Las Vegas and slept most of the way back to Austin. I don't remember him go bonkers and throwing any tantrums. He was able to sit in our laps when the plane was full and got his own seat when room was available next to us. All was well that ended well.

Thank goodness we were able to bring his sippy cup with apple juice in it unlike these unfortunate parents.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

I would like to thank Another At-Home Dad for posting this video on his blog so I could see it. What a great song by Ben Folds. Here is the video and the lyrics...

"still fighting it"
ben folds

good morning son
i am a bird
wearing a brown polyester shirt
you want a coke?
maybe some fries?
the roast beef combo's only nine ninety five
but it's okay
you don't have to pay
i've got all the change

everybody knows
it hurts to grow up
but everybody does
it's so weird to be back here
let me tell you what
the years go on
and we're still fighting it
and you're so much like me
i'm sorry

good morning son
twenty years from now
maybe we'll both sit down
and have a few beers
and i can tell you
about today
and how i picked you up
and everything changed

it was pain
sunny days and rain
i knew you'd feel the same things

everybody knows
it sucks to grow up
and everybody does
and so weird to be back here
let me tell you what
the years go on
and we're still fighting it

you'll try and try
and one day
you'll fly away from me

it was pain
sunny days and rain
i knew you'd feel the same things

everybody knows
it hurts to grow up
and everybody does
and so weird to be back here

let me tell you what
the years go on
and we're still fighting it
and you're so much like me
i'm sorry

Friday, June 22, 2007

Foie Gross!

As a child I was always a picky eater and didn't really eat meat until college and beyond. When the methods of producing foie gras hit the news last week I kind of had an idea already how it went down having worked in restaurants for many years. I have never tried foie gras because quite frankly, duck or goose liver doesn't make me salivate in the first place. Not that I needed another reason to not eat it, but I would like to thank Doris Davis for her letter to the editor with her colorful and detailed description of the process the ducks and geese go through to get that fat juicy liver some of you all love so much. I hope the Statesman doesn't mind that I pasted it here for you to read...

Still hungry?

Re: June 13 article "What's good for the foie gras goose is being debated."

I was disappointed that the cruel methods used in foie gras production were not mentioned.

To produce the fatty liver, ducks and geese consume large amounts of food two or three times a day when a metal tube is forced down their throats, filling their stomachs to the point that food comes out of their mouths and noses.

This force-feeding expands the liver up to 10 times its normal size. Force-feeding can lead to inhalation of regurgitated feed and a slow, painful death by suffocation. Ducks and geese live in vomit-covered pens or cages barely bigger than their own bodies for three weeks while they are force-fed. Access to water is so limited that the ducks, unable to adequately clean the vomit, feces and mush from their nostrils and eyes often become blind.

All this to entice the palate of the restaurant diner.


Again, thank you Ms. Davis for making sure I never eat foie gras. But can you please not write in about hamburgers? I love a good burger and I'm not ready to give those up yet.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Flying Around The Blogosphere on Quirkee Thursday

Every once in a while things around Camp Grayson become a little redundant and I find I have nothing new to write about. Sure, I can come up with a paragraph or two about poop, or translate a bit of conversation with the Little Mister to fill up some blog posts, but having enough material to write a full article on can be like trying to squeeze that last little amount of toothpaste stuck to the inside of the tube. You might get a little drop to clean your teeth but your breath still stinks.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Do You Really Want to Know?

I have been tagged by Ba Doozie, one of my new favorite bloggers to read. I joined up on MyBlogLog several months ago and have discovered new and interesting blogs. I've never been tagged before. It didn't hurt as much as I thought it would.

Game Rules: Each player starts with 7 random facts/habits about themselves. People who are tagged need to then report this on their own blog with their 7 things as well as these rules. They then need to tag 7 others and list their names on their blog. They are also asked to leave a comment for each of the tagged, letting them know they have been tagged and to read the blog.

Here's my seven:

  1. Count Chocula is my favorite cereal. I don't buy it all the time because my son would eat it every day of the week. So would I.

  2. I have to color in the lines. Watching my kids color all crazy like makes me twitch a little. I let it go so I don't suppress their creative sides and so my wife won't give me dirty looks. When we go to restaurants I usually color on the kids menus.

  3. Traffic can drive me bonkers. I know many shortcuts and back roads. Sometimes they don't save me time vs. being stuck in traffic but at least I'm moving.

  4. Bumper stickers on cars that are crooked is one of my pet peeves. Also, if there is more than one sticker and they are not positioned correctly, (i.e. symmetric!) it makes me want to peel them all off. And if you are going to plaster the back of your vehicle with bumper stickers they had better be funny. Funny changes, so at some point you should peel them off and start over. Lose the "My kid can beat up you Honor Student" sticker! That's just plain stupid.

  5. I love to play tennis. I still play my best friend from high school and I lose every time. I have a high tolerance for mental and physical pain.

  6. Recently I learned that the butterfly used to be called a flutterby, which makes sense. Then I read that it wasn't true on this page. Then I read on this page that it is true and wasps used to be called waps and birds used to be called bridde. Now I don't know what to believe. Was a caterpillar once called a patterkiller? And spider was dipers? I'm so confused.

  7. I have asthma. I was also a pack-a-day smoker for about 8 years. Hopefully that won't be the worst decision of my life.

And there you have it. Seven things you may or may not have known about me. Now I'm tagging some of my old and new blogger buddies:

Mrs. Fantasy - Chaos at the Luau

Peter Orvetti - Night Writer

Rattling the Kettle

Hooray For Saturday

Barrett's Blog

Mile-Hi Dad

Emma Sometimes

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Weekend Haikus: Father's Day

Happy Father's Day

Let's go eat breakfast Daddy!

Music to my ears


Rainy Father's Day

Golf on TV all day long

And beer in the fridge


Wife makes lasagna

For my Father's Day dinner

I sure do love her

Thursday, June 14, 2007

At-Home Dad Advantages

Being an at-home parent does have some negatives, albeit small ones compared to the positives. One negative is the lack of adult communication on a daily basis. Sometimes a trip to the grocery store provides a welcome relief by striking up a conversation with a stranger or friendly employee that knows you as a regular.

But the advantages of being an at-home parent far outweigh the negatives for this dad. For example, this week I have been deathly ill with a sinus/cold virus that came with a fever. OK, maybe not "deathly" ill but when you have two toddlers going bonkers around the house because Daddy is too sick to care if they break anything, death feels like a viable option to release the pain that won't go away. Thankfully they didn't break anything. Not even my spirit! The advantage here is that I didn't have to take sick days from work to get better. When they napped, I napped. When they watched a video, I napped. When they played quietly on the floor, I laid on the couch and checked my eyelids for leaks.

Another great advantage of being an at-home parent is getting to watch the US Open all day on Thursday and Friday! If you are not a fan of golf then you could care less about this advantage. Not this dad! It's a great thing when you can watch nine straight hours of golf - two days in a row - and there is not a boss around to make you turn it off.

Since I'm still recovering from the tail-end of this nasty virus, I think I'll head upstairs while Little Bit is napping and catch some of the first round in bed.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Hello hello hello, is there anybody out there?

My blog posting kind of fell off the planet in the last week. We had family in town last weekend and I spent most of last week shooting photos. Then Monday came and I started getting sick with the rest of the family. After being horizontal for most of yesterday I have spent some time actually sitting at the computer today. I haven't been able to stimulate my brain enough to write anything this week. That's what happens when I can barely slug down a cup of coffee and go back to bed.

I bought some ZICAM EXTREME Congestion Relief nasal spray the other day "with Soothing Aloe Vera" to unclog my sinuses. I thought since it had aloe vera it would be a pleasant ride into the breathing world again. Soothing? Not really. It was kind of like sniffing a lit match up your nose. The burning sensation must have meant the snot was on fire and melting away because that stuff works. At least for a while anyway.

When my clogged sinuses and foggy head go bye-bye I'll get back on the horse. See you then.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

What did I do?

I think I ticked off the blog traffic counter over on my Statesman blog. I've seen gestures like this in Austin traffic before, but never blog traffic. Geez.

Anyway, on with Quirkee Thursday!

The other day we were driving along in my truck when my wife looked around and said, "Have you just totally given up? This truck is a mess!" It isn't really a mess, just littered with random little toys, preschool art projects that haven't made it inside yet, at least one sippy cup that may have milk in it but I'm too afraid to look, and my wife's gum wrappers that for some reason don't make it into the trash tray.
I used to keep the inside of my cars clean and empty. This was not necessarily because I am a Virgo, but because my dogs would travel in the car with me to the park a lot and would tear things up. I also had a few cars that a lock didn't work on so I kept them clean and empty to keep thieves away.


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

$750,000 Iconic Enchiladas?

I'm sure to ruffle a few feathers with this post, but I'm going to say it anyway.

Las Manitas is not that good.

There. I said it. In the 14 years I have been in Austin I have eaten at Las Manitas a dozen times. It was always a good spot for Saturday or Sunday breakfast grease to soak up the beer from the night before. The food was okay but I don't think it's worth a $750,000 mostly forgivable loan. Every "Keep Austin Weird"-O with a business is going to want a piece of that action now. Who wouldn't? Tacos and enchiladas are worth a $750,000 payoff from the city because big bad Marriot wants to build a hotel on private property not owned by the sisters of Las Manitas?

Give me a break. What happens when The Soup Peddler gets booted from Mary St. because a condo developer wants to build on that site? Do you give The Soup Peddler $750,000 to move and remodel his soup kitchen? Hey, that guy has a good story and he is quickly becoming a South Austin icon.

What really burns my beans about the article in today's Statesman is the quote at the end from Dina Flores, the owner of the child care facility Escuelita del Alma, which is next door to Las Manitas and is also being forced to shut down. She says it does not seem right that a restaurant gets that much assistance and a child care facility does not.

I'm with you, Ms. Flores. There is not a bowl of salsa in this town worth $750,000. Kids are more important than queso. It's too bad our City Council doesn't see it that way.